Your orgasm style is likely a combination of your physical anatomy, your psychological preferences and that can’t-be-quantified chemistry that occurs when you and your partner hit the sheets together. But just because one position is virtually guaranteed to get you off doesn’t mean you’re not capable of finding just as much ecstasy another way—and experimenting is a huge part of the fun, points out Jennifer Sandoval, a relationship and couples therapist based in Del Mar, Calif. “I always advise clients to focus less on climax and more on the pleasure points they feel in the moment,” she explains.
With that said, here are five common orgasm types. Find new tricks for your favorites, and then mix it up by trying something new.
This is the most easily accessible orgasm for women. Elisabeth Lloyd, professor of biology at Indiana University at Bloomington, found during research for her book “The Case of the Female Orgasm” that only 24 percent of women can achieve orgasm without direct clitoral stimulation. Hands, tongues or friction concentrated around the clitoris can lead to the big O even before intercourse, notes Vanessa Marin, a San Francisco-based sex therapist.
How to reach it: If a clitoral orgasm with your partner is elusive, taking the time to explore the area solo can help you get to know what moves rock your world, suggests Annette Gates, a sexologist based in New York City. During intercourse, try being on top, which allows your clitoris to grind against his pubic bone, recommends Marin. “In that position, you’re also controlling the pace of the movements, which can help you find the perfect rhythm,” she says.
There’s been a lot of mythologizing about the G-spot—the spongy area on the inside front of your vaginal wall—and experts agree that it’s easier for some women to access than others. This stimulation can feel a bit deeper and occasionally more intense than other orgasm styles, points out Gates. “If you feel intensity, that may mean the area needs to be opened up, by gently exploring the area with a finger or a toy and breathing into the sensation,” she suggests. As always, communication is key, so let your partner know what feels good and what areas may feel a bit tender.
How to reach it: Some toys have features designed to tap your G-Spot, and those can be a great way to begin experimenting if you haven’t yet found yours, says Gates. Since the area gets even more responsive after arousal, initiating intercourse and then having your partner explore the inside of your vagina with his or her fingers by making a “come hither” motion with the index finger and then gently tapping against the front part of your vaginal wall can clue you into the area—and lead to an orgasm.
Once taboo, anal sex has almost become mainstream, with a 2010 University of Indiana study showing that 22 percent of woman ages 20-39 had anal sex in the past year. Clearly, the women who regularly add this act to their repertoire are fans, but that doesn’t mean something’s wrong with your body or brain if anal sex is not your cup of tea. “Sex should never be about feeling like you’re missing out or have to try something,” reminds Sandoval.
How to reach it: Anal experimentation is best explored slowly, either with a partner’s finger or a small toy—and lube is a must. “Experimenting after you’ve already climaxed can make you feel more relaxed and open to sensations,” says Gates. And since women can feel especially vulnerable exploring this area, talking about it before the act can make everything go much more smoothly, suggests Sandoval. “Predicting and planning for awkward moments and knowing they’re just a part of sex can make the entire experience far more relaxed. And when you’re relaxed, you’re far more likely to be orgasmic,” says Sandoval. As far as actual positions, try spooning side-by-side and have your partner enter you from behind—that way, you have control of the angle and depth of penetration.
Climaxing from intercourse alone has a lot to do with anatomy, notes Sandoval. “Some women may find their clitoris indirectly stimulated by penetration based on how close it is to their vaginal opening,” she explains. And for that lucky group, that’s all they need to reach an orgasm.
How to reach it: A vaginal orgasm takes time, so be sure to pack in plenty of foreplay, concentrating on long, slow strokes when he finally penetrates, suggests Marin. “Try doggie style, since this position allows the penis to penetrate deeply into the vagina,” suggests Gates. “You also may find this position stimulates your cervix, which can feel intense, but can also feel deeply pleasurable to many women.”
This is a combination of clitoral and vaginal stimulation, where nerves are firing all around these areas. Experimentation is all part of the pleasure, so take your time on this one—and don’t stress out if you don’t experience a blended climax.
How to reach it: First off, knowing your preferred clitoral and G-spot stimulations makes it easier to direct your partner in stimulating both to reach the Big O. Getting some outside help in the form of toys is a good idea, since a toy can provide stimulation to one area while your partner is focused on the other. Try missionary position with a pillow propped under your butt, which can give him the angle he needs to stimulate your G-spot, and then use your hands on your clitoris. Also, using lube as you touch yourself can increase sensation enough to send you over the pleasurable edge.